I had a conversation with a friend on the phone the other day about me and MensHealth, and as I was listening to myself recount an incident that happened a week or so ago, it wounded me all over again.
You know how you are talking to someone about something, and something they say that is completely off topic or just an aside lets slip some inner thought that brings you up short? It’s like a Freudian slip, only instead of saying something they really want they say something they really feel. Maybe that’s still a Freudian slip, but this was different than saying you really liked her breast instead of her speech.
MH was complaining about pressure from his family of some kind or another, and talking of pressure in general. He said something that cut me to the heart, and didn’t even notice in his desire to keep explaining what pressures he was under and how something had to change. It’s been festering ever since.
He was talking about being pressured to marry. What he said was that if he’d met someone who he wanted to marry, he’d be married already. I sat there, a bit dazed, as if someone had stabbed me in the chest. If he’d met someone he wanted to marry? Yet here I sit, almost three years after we met, and more fool me, it seems.
Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks and all that.
I can’t really tell you what I was thinking. The truth is, I wasn’t thinking anything. I was just feeling. Mostly, I felt hurt. Even in frustration over people trying to pressure you to do something you aren’t ready for, how could you be so careless with your words unless you really feel that way? And if you haven’t met anyone you want to marry, why are you stll here? The point of us staying together, I thought, was that we both liked one another and thought this might evolve into marriage. We aren’t dating for our health, here. There’s no tangible benefit to us being together at this stage except that we plan to have a future together. We aren’t cohabitating (or splitting bills), we aren’t having sex, and we have no ties other than the ones we choose to have to one another. What’s all of this for, if not to evaluate if we are meant to be together long term?
“Girl, sometimes a man can say things/that he really don’t mean;/ well, I’m sorry baby/Bring your lovin’ back to me.”–R. Kelly, “I Can’t Sleep Baby”
I’m not so sure I believe that. I want to continue to grow to love MH more, to open up more, to really give us a chance, but when he says things like this my first thought is self-preservation, of growing back some of that tough emotional exterior, that disconnectedness that I specialized in before.
Would love to hear thoughts and opinions on this one. What dumb things does your mate say? Should I say something about this to MH? What would you do?